SEOUL- The recent nuclear deal with Iran showed that the United States can be flexible with a willing counterpart, including North Korea if it decides it wants talks on its nuclear program, a US envoy said on Monday.
North Korea has said it was not interested in an Iran-like dialogue with the United States to give up its nuclear capabilities, which it said were an "essential deterrence" against hostile US policy.
Despite that, Sydney Seiler, US special envoy for now-defunct six-party talks on ending the North's nuclear programme, said the United states left the door open to talks with the North when it is willing to end its diplomatic isolation.
"The Iran deal demonstrates the value and possibilities that negotiation bring," Seiler told reporters in the South Korean capital, Seoul.
"It demonstrates again our willingness, when we have a willing counterpart, and it demonstrates our flexibility when the DPRK makes a decision that it wants to take a different path," he said, referring to North Korea by the initials of its formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Seiler is on a trip to the region that will include stops in China and Japan, is the latest in a series of visits by US nuclear envoys aimed at trying to jump start the North Korean talks which broke down in 2008.
North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests, the last in February 2013, and now calls itself a nuclear weapons state.